Bolivia Economy

Is Bolivia a wealthy country?

Bolivia is a resource-rich country with strong growth attributed to captive markets for natural gas exports – to Brazil and Argentina. However, the country remains one of the least developed countries in Latin America because of state-oriented policies that deter investment.

Following an economic crisis during the early 1980s, reforms in the 1990s spurred private investment, stimulated economic growth, and cut poverty rates. The period 2003-05 was characterized by political instability, racial tensions, and violent protests against plans - subsequently abandoned - to export Bolivia's newly discovered natural gas reserves to large Northern Hemisphere markets. In 2005-06, the government passed hydrocarbon laws that imposed significantly higher royalties and required foreign firms then operating under risk-sharing contracts to surrender all production to the state energy company in exchange for a predetermined service fee; the laws engendered much public debate. High commodity prices between 2010 and 2014 sustained rapid growth and large trade surpluses with GDP growing 6.8% in 2013 and 5.4% in 2014. The global decline in oil prices that began in late 2014 exerted downward pressure on the price Bolivia receives for exported gas and resulted in lower GDP growth rates - 4.9% in 2015 and 4.3% in 2016 - and losses in government revenue as well as fiscal and trade deficits.

A lack of foreign investment in the key sectors of mining and hydrocarbons, along with conflict among social groups, pose challenges for the Bolivian economy. In 2015, President Evo MORALES expanded efforts to court international investment and boost Bolivia’s energy production capacity. MORALES passed an investment law and promised not to nationalize additional industries in an effort to improve the investment climate. In early 2016, the Government of Bolivia approved the 2016-2020 National Economic and Social Development Plan aimed at maintaining growth of 5% and reducing poverty.

Bolivia Economy Data

What is the GDP of Bolivia?

Currency Name and Code Bolivianos (BOB)
GDP - Gross Domestic Product (PPP) $92,590,000,000 (USD)
GDP - official exchange rate $35,700,000,000 (USD)
GDP - real growth rate 3.7%
GDP Per Capita $7,200.00 (USD)
GDP by Sector- agriculture 13.3%
GDP by Sector- Industry 37.4%
GDP by Sector- services 53.6%
GDP - composition, by end use Household Consumption: 69.3%

Government Consumption: 18.2%

Investment in Fixed Capital: 20.4%

Investment in Inventories: -1.4%

Exports of Goods and Services: 29%

Imports of Goods and Services: -35.5%
Population Below Poverty Line 45%
Inflation Rate 3.9%
Labor Force 4,993,000
Labor Force By Occupation- agriculture 32%
Labor Force By Occupation- industry 20%
Labor Force By Occupation- services 47.9%
Unemployment Rate 7.5%
Unemployment - note Data are for urban areas; widespread underemployment
Fiscal Year Calendar Year
Annual Budget $15,440,000,000 (USD)
Budget Surplus or Deficit - percent of GDP -6.2%
Public Debt (% of GDP) 47%
Taxes and other revenues - percent of GDP 43.3%
Major Industries Mining, smelting, petroleum, food and beverages, tobacco, handicrafts, clothing, jewelry
Industrial Growth Rate 3.5%
Agriculture Products Soybeans, quinoa, Brazil nuts, sugarcane, coffee, corn, rice, potatoes, chia, coca
Exchange Rate per US Dollar 6.91
Child Labor - % of children ages 5-14 26%
Child Labor - # of children ages 5-14 553,323
Child Labor - note note: data represents children ages 5-13
Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate 7.6%

Labor Force by Occupation- As reported by Bolivia

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